Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student or just
thinking of a career change, deciding on a career can be difficult.
You are not alone. There are many tools and resources that can
help you make an informed choice. While we have provided some
tools below, you may also want to visit with a school counselor or visit
your school or local library.
What do I
like to do? What can I learn easily? Can I use the skills I have?
Interest, aptitude and other assessments can help measure your
interest, ability and other traits that may affect your success in
certain activities and careers.
Where are the
jobs? What will I earn?
Nothing is more frustrating than selecting a career and then not
being able to find employment in your field. A little research
before starting a training program or job search will maximize your
chance of selecting a career with increasing job opportunities. It
is also important to consider where you want to live when conducting
this research as job outlook, earnings, and cost-of-living varies by
There are many reasons why you may be asked to complete an
application. It is important to remember that
a resume does not replace an application.
Here are some things to keep in mind when completing job
directions. This is one of the main reasons you will be
asked to complete an application, to see if you can follow
Your qualifications won't count if they can't be read. In
addition, your handwriting may be important on the job.
complete. Your resume does not (and should not) include all of
the information you will be asked for on an application. Your
resume style affects the content and presentation of your work
history as well.
portfolio. Over the years it becomes increasingly
difficult to remember details required for a complete application.
Dates, wages, and supervisor's names are just a few of the items you
will need. Also include any training and accomplishments on
the job to include on future applications and resumes.
resume. No matter what your experience level, you should
attach a resume to all applications. This provides you the
opportunity to highlight your most impressive qualifications.
Career One Stop - Links to
various job search aids on the Internet.
Employment Strategies - A 1 semester credit hour course through NIACC. Consult
the NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and registration
There are many styles of resumes.
The style you use depends on your work history and qualifications for
the job. Two of the most common styles are
and Functional. A
chronological resume outlines your work history starting with the
most recent and working backward. This is the most common resume style.
A functional resume outlines your work history based on the function you
performed. This works especially well if you have a lot of similar
experience with several different companies.
Career One Stop -
Links to various job search aids on the Internet.
Career One Stop
your resume online.
- A one semester credit hour course through NIACC.
Consult the NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and
Job Seeking Skills - The Workforce Development Partnership
offers many workshops designed to help you develop or refine the
tools and skills needed to obtain and retain employment.
View our Region 2 calendar of events for a list of upcoming
E-mail can often be your first – and possibly, your only – point of
contact with other people. Practicing good business etiquette on the
Web can make a difference between hearing back from an employer or
not when applying for that perfect job.
“Think of your e-mail as a serious
communication tool, not an excuse to forget about being
professional, courteous or friendly,” says Rohn Everson, Human
Resources manager at Maintainer, Sheldon. “Sometimes, even
thoughtless little things can completely destroy what otherwise is a
What message does an e-mail address like
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com send, he
asks? Those addresses are not professional, and could be considered
demeaning and insensitive. Most businesses don’t want to convey that
type of image, and applicants with these types of addresses will
probably not be considered for employment.
Bryan Kooi, Human Resources manager at
MEDTEC, Orange City, agrees.
“I receive a lot of resumes via e-mail. I see some very questionable
e-mail addresses that make me wonder about the ethics, morality, and
overall professionalism of the applicant,” says Kooi.
Always provide a personal name if your
mail system allows it - a personal name attached to your address
identifies you better than your address can on its own, advises
Everson. For example, RobertAnderson@abc123.com conveys the sender
as a professional person to be taken seriously a lot more than
“Use a sensible personal name: ‘Guess who’
or other such phrases are annoying as personal names and hinder the
recipient's quick identification of you and your message,” says
Matt Ricke, a Sioux City-based manager with Manpower, considers
questionable e-mail addresses as a “red flag – a reason not to hire
He advises people to select a simple
address, not one loaded with letters and numbers, and definitely not
something odd or off the wall. He understands that some people
consider their e-mail address as a personal expression, but offers
this cautionary advice to job seekers:
“If that’s their image, they have to understand the consequences of
those choices.” And sometimes, he says, the consequence is not
getting the job.
Our society needs proper etiquette now more than ever, Everson
“Good manners maintain consideration and
kindness in our busy lives. Knowledge of good manners can lead to
success in life. Appropriate conduct can make or break business
deals, or determine the outcome of a job interview and promote good
relations,” says Everson.
The bottom line, according to all three managers, is to be
professional. Your e-mail address is a direct reflection of you,
your image and your values.
It is not always the most qualified person
that gets the job but the one that interviews the best.
Interviewers are looking at more than just your qualifications during an
interview. They have a number of "unasked" questions.
I wonder if this is an
Does this person have initiative?
Does this person have the
capacity to learn?
Does this person have common
How will this person fit in with
our current employees?
Is this person enthusiastic?
Will this person be a good team
Your verbal and nonverbal communication during the interview often
provide the answers to these questions. Remember, first
impressions count! Here are a few other tips for a positive
Research the company.
This indicates initiative and enthusiasm and will help you determine
which qualifications to highlight.
Review your answers. While you cannot predict every
question, there are many common questions. Determine your
answers for these questions and it will be easier to deal with the
other questions you will be asked.
Dress appropriately. Remember, if hired, you represent the
company to everyone you meet. If needed, drive by the business
just before or after closing to determine appropriate dress.
You should dress one step above what you would wear on the job.
Career One Stop - Links to
various job search aids on the Internet.
- A one semester credit hour course through NIACC. Consult the
NIACC General Catalog for course dates, times, and registration
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Iowa Workforce Development Region 2